Chickaming v. Carpenter,
106 U.S. 663 (1883)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Chickaming v. Carpenter, 106 U.S. 663 (1883)

Chickaming v. Carpenter

Decided January 29, 1883

106 U.S. 663


1. Where the amount involved is sufficient, the citizen of a state other than Michigan who holds bonds of a municipal corporation in Michigan may, in the proper circuit court of the United States, maintain an action against

it on them, or on the coupons thereto attached, although each is payable to a citizen of the state or bearer, or to bearer.

2. By the terms of the Act of Michigan of March 22, 1869, township bonds in aid of a railroad company are not invalid because they were issued after the expiration of sixty days from the date when the vote in favor of issuing them was cast by the electors.

3. In Michigan, where the execution of the instrument sued on is not put in issue by an appropriate plea, verified by affidavit, proof thereof is not required. The effect of the pleadings in this suit is to raise the question whether the bonds, if issued after such period of sixty days, are valid.

4. Such bonds may be delivered to a corporation lawfully formed by the consolidation of a corporation with that to which they were voted.

This was an action by Carpenter against the Township of Chickaming, Michigan. The declaration alleges that under an act of the legislature of that state of March 22, 1869, the township, pursuant to a vote of the electors thereof, issued certain bonds and coupons to the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad Company, and delivered them to the treasurer of state; that the latter delivered them to the company; that Carpenter is the lawful holder of them for value, and that they are due and unpaid.

The following is a copy of one of the bonds:

"JUNE 1st, 1869"



"Authorized by a vote of the people of the Township of Chickaming"

"Know all men by these presents that the Township of Chickaming hereby acknowledges to owe and promises to pay to the Chicago and Michigan Lake Shore Railroad Company or bearer one thousand dollars lawful money of the United States of America on the first Monday of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and seventy-two at the office of the Treasurer

Page 106 U. S. 664

of the County of Berrien, with interest at the rate of ten percentum per annum, payable annually on the first Monday of February in each year on the surrender of the annexed coupons as they severally become due."

"This bond is executed and issued under the provisions of and in conformity to an act of the Legislature of the ate of Michigan entitled"

"An Act to enable any township, city, or village to pledge its aid by loan or donation to any railroad company now chartered or organized or that may be hereafter organized under and by virtue of the laws of the State of Michigan in the construction of its road,"

"approved March 22, 1869."

"In testimony whereof, the supervisor of said township and the township clerk thereof have signed their names hereto, as required by the act aforesaid, and dated the bond as authorized by the vote of the people."


"Supervisor of Chickaming Township"

"O. C. GILLETTE, Township Clerk"

The following is a copy of a coupon attached to the bond:

"$100] [No. 7"

"The Township of Chickaming will pay to the bearer, at the office of the Treasurer of the County of Berrien, on the first Monday of February, 1875, one hundred dollars, interest due on their bond."


"Supervisor of Township"

"O. C. GILLETTE, Township Clerk"

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